Icahn offer for Lionsgate debt

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Carl Icahn's bid to hold sway over Lionsgate continued Thursday when the billionaire financier tendered an offer to buy about $325 million of the company's debt.

The offer came a day after both parties said that friendly discussions about allowing Icahn to swap some Lionsgate directors for those of his choosing broke down.

At issue was a standstill agreement that would have prevented Icahn from obtaining 20% of Lionsgate, an event that would have triggered changes in debt covenants. Icahn owns 14.5% of Lionsgate.

Icahn has been collecting Lionsgate shares for four years, though without much fanfare. Some have speculated that his stepped-up interest is driven in part by his desire to land son Brett a board seat.

The uncertainty surrounding Icahn's intentions has caused Lionsgate largely to sit out a rare stock-market rally this week, with shares falling 6% on Wednesday and another 5% on Thursday to $4.69. (partialdiff)
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